The Raven (2012)
Directed By: James McTeigue
Starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson
Cohen Intrepid Pictures
Specifications: 1080HP High Definition 16X9 (2:40:1) Approx 111 minutes
2.0 Dolby Digital, 5.1 Dolby Surround.
Special Features: Deleted & Extended Scenes. The Raven Guts: Bringing Raven Death To Life. The Madness, Misery and Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe. Behind the Beauty and Horror. The Raven Presents John Cusack and James McTeigue audio commentary by director and producers. Music of The Raven. Theatrical Trailer.
Review By: Rick Amortis
Plot Summary: The nineteenth century, literary icon is in a race against time to uncover the mystery of who has adapted his macabre tales and poetry into real life killings especially after the true love of his life, Emily Hamilton has been abducted.
Review: This DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack without shadow of a doubt fully utilizes the technological wizardry readily available to deliver an awe inducing, slick final product.
Needless to state the imagery is crisp, clear, clean and larger than life even in only the DVD copy. The Blu-Ray will render the audience before them so mesmerized it may take some time to actually click play from the main title menu.
The audio captures the mood of the film extraordinarily. Classical scores effectively rise the tension in all the right places and the second best thing aside from experiencing this thriller in theatres would be to tap in to your stereo system at home in Dolby Digital splendor.
Historically speaking, the delivery of the plot is disturbingly accurate in terms of English prose, dialogue, wit, social behavior, etiquette and attire. There are few inconsistencies and one would have to be a professional nit picker to unveil them through countless hours of dissecting unnecessarily. We buy into the fact this is genuine 1849 and have little reason to believe the contrary.
Being a period piece may have some limitations in terms of global audiences. It’s a shame the challenges that are presented to any film maker in today’s World Wide Web generation. Attention spans are forever deteriorating and arguably are at an all time low as we speak. The younger audiences may not understand the references and treat the production like History class. Rest assured one does not have to be a Poe scholar to fully appreciate the references and see the links between the writer’s fiction and the macabre reality unfolding before his eyes.
The Raven is an original idea of a copy cat killer, a who dun nit story and simultaneously an avant-garde to literary classics. Few can argue that Edgar Allan Poe is one of the pioneers in modern horror fiction. The portrayal from John Cusack is so flawless it is difficult to conceive any other actor delivering such a high caliber performance as this. Although it was rumored Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner were being courted for the roles of Poe and Detective Fields. Luke Evans, the alternative in this case seems like a sound choice as well as he and Cusack effectively depict a love-hate relationship in midst of morphing conflict.
The suspense and grisly murders of the copy cat killer are an intriguing slant on the classic tales of Poe. During the final act of the film some gritty dialogue transpires that is worth the price of admission alone from this sinister mad mind and self professed artistic genius.
The extras and documentaries are entertaining, informative and provide a little insight into Edgar Allan Poe the man, the writer and visionary grappling with some very non-fictional inner demons.
The Raven DVD/Blu-Ray hit shelves October 9, just in time for Hallows Eve.